Malliotakis, a popular state assemblywoman first elected in 2010, captured two-thirds of the vote in the district when she was the Republican candidate for mayor in 2017. She effectively tied Rose to fellow Democrats who called for defunding the police and approved a state law eliminating cash bail for many criminal defendants. The assemblywoman was backed by the PBA and a coalition of law enforcement unions. The GOP challenger also hammered Rose for taking part in a Black Lives Matter/anti-police brutality march on Staten Island following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Some of the protesters carried anti-cop and “Defund the police” signs.